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Latest news from TRAFFIC


Bear paws turn up in nationwide raids

The bear paws confiscated from a trader's cold room. Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   

en Français

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 26 August 2009—Malaysia's wildlife authority has seized several protected animals and parts of wildlife including bear paws, in a string of raids across the country in the last two weeks.

On August 11, the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) found four bear paws in the cold room of a licensed trader’s store in the town of Kemaman in Terengganu, a state on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

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Crocodile hides in inspectors’ sights

Crocodile skin handbag: can you tell if it's fake or real? Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC   

en Français

Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, 21 August 2009—wildlife trade inspectors from Mexico’s Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA) are being taught how to identify reptile skins and the products made out of them as part of a project that aims to improve the conservation of natural resources and ensure sustainable use.

“The international trade in reptile skins is an attractive business that generates high profits but has the potential to severely impact the conservation of the species involved,” says Adrian Reuter, TRAFFIC North America’s Mexico Representative.

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Illegal seahorse-containing medicine handed back

Powdered seahorses from Indonesia are a principal ingredient of medicinal tablets illegally imported into Poland Click photo to enlarge © Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon 

en Français

Cambridge, UK, 19 August 2009—A Polish company has been found guilty of importing 14 tonnes of “Ginjal”, a drug containing powdered seahorses that is illegal under Poland’s Act on Nature Conservation, but the court ruled the stock should be returned to the company.

“The illegal tablets should have been confiscated so they can never reach the marketplace,” commented Magdalena Romanowicz, Head of WWF Poland’s Reducing Illegal Wildlife Trade initiative.

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China’s fisheries must adapt to meet new EU regulations

The fish processing industry has expanded rapidly, such that China is now the world's leading exporter of marine fish products Click photo to enlarge C Morrison   

in Chinese l en Français

Beijing, China, 17 August 2009—China appears to have made considerable progress in improving the traceability of its fish processing industry, but will need to adapt further if it is to meet the requirements of forthcoming European Union regulations, according to a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

From January 2010, all fish materials imported into the European Union (EU) will have to be accompanied by catch certificates. The certificates will then have to be validated by the flag State of the vessel that caught the fish. The new laws aim to combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing.

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Wildlife Trade Regulation Course has early success

Wildlife Trade Regulation Course participants get to grips with turtle identification Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC

en Français

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 14 August 2009—Frontline staff at two of the country’s busiest airports underwent an intensive training course last week to enhance their ability to identify and intercept wildlife traffickers who use the two facilities.

About 70 people including security, cargo and airline staff stationed at the KL International Airport and Low Cost Carrier Terminal took part in the course organised by the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN).

The Wildlife Trade Regulation Course, held with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Malaysia Airports, is part of a multi-faceted effort aimed at thwarting wildlife traffickers in the ASEAN region.

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FairWild Standards prove their worth in Bosnia and Herzegovina

A pilot project to implement measures for fair and sustainable collection of Wild Garlic in Bosnia & Herzegovina proved a success Click photo to enlarge © Sladjana Bundalo   

en Français

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 August 2009—experts in sustainable management have given their strong approval to the new sustainability standards for the collection of wild medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), after testing them in Bosnia and Herzegovina during an 18-month pilot project on Wild Garlic Allium ursinum.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in south-eastern Europe, is a major source country for medicinal and aromatic plants collected in Europe.

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Illegal wildlife trade rises up the political agenda in Viet Nam

Marine turtles on sale in Ho Chi Minh City: there is rising political concern in Viet Nam over the illegal wildife trade that is depriving the nation of its natural resources Click photo to enlarge © Dan Stiles / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   

en Français

Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 12 August—The Central Committee for Communication and Education (CCCE), a body that advises Viet Nam’s Communist Party, meets today with representatives from international conservation groups TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, WWF, and IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, to discuss raising awareness about the illegal wildlife trade and its impact on the conservation of Viet Nam’s natural resources.

Rising consumer demand is driving a lucrative, but often illegal and unsustainable trade in wild plant and animal products in Viet Nam, threatening the country’s incredible biodiversity. With many endemic and threatened species on the verge of extinction, the Government of Viet Nam is increasing its commitment to combat the illegal trade.

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Tourists targeted with Hawksbill shell souvenirs

The latest TRAFFIC Bulletin is now available for download (link below). Click image to enlarge

en Français

Cambridge, UK, 6 August 2009—Items made from Hawksbill Turtle shell are being sold to tourists in Papua New Guinea, particularly in the capital Port Moresby, as well as in duty free shops at the country’s international airport, according to a new report published in the latest issue of the TRAFFIC Bulletin.

Hawksbills, like other marine turtles, are listed in listed in Appendix I of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), making any commercial international trade in their products illegal.

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Vietnamese wildlife enforcement officials observe Thailand’s anti-wildlife crime measures

Officials from enforcement agencies in Viet Nam meet their counterparts in Thailand during a study tour to discuss mechanisms which support effective interagency co-operation in tackling wildlife crime Click on photo to enlarge © Ngoc Thi Men / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia - Greater Mekong Programme en Français

Bangkok, Thailand, 24 July 2009—Officials from Viet Nam’s Environmental Police, Customs and Forest Protection Department visited Thailand from 13-17 July, to observe the country’s anti-wildlife crime measures, in particular the mechanisms which support effective interagency co-operation.

“The study tour provided an important opportunity for Viet Nam and Thailand to strengthen their relationships through increased co-operation and co-ordination to combat wildlife crime,” said Mr Do Nhu Khoa, Head of Task Force, Forest Protection Department of Vietnam, who headed the Vietnamese delegation.

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